Russula cyanoxantha

Charcoal Burner

Status:

Common.

Meaning 'reddish'.

Cap:

5-15cm

Stem:

4-11cm

Cyan meaning blue and xantha meaning yellow.

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Description

A familiar and common member of the brittlegill (Russula) family, one that is also highly variable in colour too. The cap can be shades of purple, lavender, green, grey or even brownish, with some authors recognising varities based on certain coloured caps. The fact that this brittlegill does not have very brittlegills compared to most in this family helps to identify it. 

Smell

Not distinctive.

Season

Summer to Autumn.

Habitat & Distribution

Found with a range of broadleaf and coniferous species, but more commonly with Oak (Quercus) and Beech (Fagus). Found throughout the UK where it is common.

Edibility

If it can be safely identified then the Charcoal Burner is a good edible species.

Confusion Species

Spores 

7-10 x 5-6.5 μm. Isolated warts.

Spore Print Colour

White.

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Others in the Brittlegill (Russula) family, the flexible gills is a real feature compared to others. The negative or slightly green reaction to iron salts is also a useful feature along with the gills.